After 20 seasons the first Hall of Fame election has been completed and four players have been chosen. The winners, as well as the full voting results will be announced this week.
All players in league history who had 100 regular season plate appearances were eligible to vote. There were 146 eligible voters. While contact information from the early days was spotty, either email or Facebook information was collected for all but one of those voters. 71 of those eligible voters, 49% ultimately cast a ballot. 37 of the 71 were current players this season, and 34 were past players.
The ballot consisted of all players in league history who had 200 regular season plate appearances. It included 65 players eligible for election to no more than six Hall of Fame members.
The complete details of the voting and this year’s ballot can be found on the Hall of Fame page.
Players needed to appear on 75% of the ballots cast in order to be elected. Every voter was able to vote for up to 12 players, twice the number of eligible positions. 53 votes were needed for a player to be elected.
Three of the four players elected received the exact minimum number of votes at 53, and the other Hall of Famer received one more, at 54 votes. 57 of the 65 eligible players on the ballot received at least one vote.
Commissioner Gallaway was happy with the process, but recommended changes for the future.
“I am excited that before I left as Commissioner we were able to finally elect players to the Hall of Fame. Going in, we had no idea how this process would work, if anyone would vote, or if the criteria we had set for voters, or for eligible players, would result in any elections. While it was very close, there is no doubt in my mind this was a tremendous success, and we have started out an important process which I hope will continue every year.”
Gallaway proposed several changes for future ballots, which ultimately will be up to the next Commissioner.
- Sort Future Ballots in Order of Votes Received on Previous Ballot
- List Newly Eligible Players at the Top of the Ballot their First Year
- Lower Requirement for Election to 70% of Ballots
- After 2016 Vote, Drop Any Past Players Appearing on Less than 5% of Ballots (but leave active players on ballot)
If the current process is maintained, at the conclusion of the Spring season there will be at least 149 eligible voters, possibly 151. There will also be 72 players eligible for election, possibly 74, increasing the total number of positions that could be elected to seven, with four currently filled.
With three open positions, players would be able to vote for six players on the ballot of 68 eligible.
The Summer season will likely bring additional eligible voters and players for election as several more players will hit the 100 plate appearances needed to be eligible to vote, and 200 plate appearances to appear on the ballot.